Attorneys for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed in a virtual press briefing Friday that an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by the Democrat state leader was out to get him from its onset, Reuters reported.
The lawyers tried to poke holes in the stories of nearly a dozen women whose accounts of harassment by the governor were corroborated in a recent report from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) office.
According to a transcript from Cuomo’s office, attorney Rita Glavin said that “the investigation was conducted to support a predetermined narrative” and that “we weren’t given any advance notice” of the report’s information, its release, or a Tuesday press conference where the findings were reported to the public.
“This was not an exercise in truth-finding,” Glavin said, promising that the legal team would give a detailed written response to the report, as requested by the AG’s office. “This was one-sided and he was ambushed,” she added of the governor.
“Contrary facts and omissions”
Glavin also said Friday that there were “contrary facts and omissions” in the AG’s report.
That allegedly includes more than 10 minutes of details about what Glavin says are inconsistencies in the chief accusation against Cuomo from an unnamed executive assistant, including a detailed timeline of Nov. 16, which she says was the day the assistant accused Cuomo of calling her to his home office and touching her breasts under her shirt and over her bra.
The governor denies that the alleged incident even happened, and Glavin offered the timeline as evidence that it would have been impossible. Notably, however, the assistant did not give a particular date for the incident, saying she didn’t remember the exact day.
Part of Glavin’s argument was that the assistant acted normal after the alleged incident, but sexual assault survivors say that this often happens and should not be looked at as evidence that no assault took place, according to reports.
Cuomo faces calls to resign
The overwhelming majority of Democrat lawmakers in New York as well as national Democrat figures including President Joe Biden called for Cuomo to resign as governor after the report was released.
According to NPR, New York Democrats are prepared to begin impeachment proceedings against him later this week if he refuses to step down.
Cuomo has also lost much of his popularity with the public. His approval rating stands at 28%, and 70% of voters think he should resign, according to Quinnipiac.
In short, Glavin and others on Cuomo’s legal team have a long way to go in convincing the public that at least 11 accusers are all lying about his behavior.